Postgraduate students, meet your PARSA 2018 executive

19 September 2017

On Campus recently introduced you to the 2018 elected representatives from the ANU Students' Association (ANUSA), and now here's next year's elected representatives (or as many as we could get together for a photo) from the Postgraduate and Research Students' Association (PARSA).

As with ANUSA, we asked PARSA's elected representatives if they could tell us a little about themselves and what they hope to achieve in 2018.

Alyssa Shaw

"Feminist, student representative, social justice advocate - that's me in a sentence. Current and incoming president - the first, consecutive two-term president for PARSA, and one of the few women presidents we've had so just excited to do it again.

"I think PARSA has really grown as an organisation this year. I think it's really trying to improve on that - on our engagement, making sure the postgraduate community feels really connected and supported and is well represented so I think that, in a nutshell, is really the aim. To strengthen us across a range of issues. I think being responsive and reactive to things is really important. But I think the team's really energised and I think very committed so I'm really looking forward to working with everyone. I think it's going to be a good year!"

Felicity Miller
Equity Officer

"I'm a Masters of National Security Policy student. I am originally from Perth, Western Australia. I came to Canberra earlier this year and I'm really loving the student interaction within the postgraduate community and I really wanted to help out there.

"I'm hoping to increase awareness of mental illness within the postgraduate community and also increase access for people with disabilities. I'm also hoping to increase the interaction among students who are parents within the rest of the postgraduate community and university life, making it easier for them to be social and interact with other parents and make lifelong friends that way. I'm also helping to ally and represent the LGBTIQ plus community and really help represent them within the postgraduate community there."

Randa Akila
Environmental Officer

"I was born in Perth. I'm originally of Palestinian background. I moved to Canberra to do my Masters degree in Applied Anthropology and Development which was a change from public health. I specifically chose Anthopology because I'm interested in people. One of my other passions is the environment so I enrolled in this degree because I wanted to look at the environment from an anthropological perspective - so what are people doing to enhance the environment, degrade the environment and how people connect to the environment as well. Those are my particular passions.

"In 2018 I'd just like to raise awareness on campus about the environment. I want students to be more conscious of their consumer and environmental footprint. I'd also like to specifically look at waste management and recycling because it's very easy and achievable. I believe that change happens on a scale - from individual to policy change. In order for us to reach policy change, we need to get people aware and caring about the environment. If I can achieve that then I've achieved my goals."

Abhishek Tilgulkar
Communications Officer

"I come from the beautiful country of India. I completed my Engineering Bachelors and after that I worked in oil and gas for a while as a drilling engineer for two and a half years. Now I'm doing a Masters of Business Administration and Marketing. I've been studying here for one year - this is my third semester and I'm looking forward to completing my degree.

"I'm really grateful to everyone who selected me as the Communications Officer. What I'd like to achieve is a more connected and integrated network of all the postgrad students in 2018. Right now we're about 10,700 students, and they don't always get to participate in all the events of PARSA. So my main aim for 2018 is to get as many people connected to PARSA [as I can]. There's so many things we can do other than organise events, for the betterment of students' future."

Avish Amin

"I've moved here from Mumbai, India and I'm basically a finance guy. I've done finance all my life. I've done accounting before this and then after that I wanted to move to finance and that is where my interests lie.

"I've been in PARSA for about 8 months now. It is a pretty young organisation and the first reform that it needs is financial reform. So in the past we've been working towards policy changes for finances and putting proper procedures in place. PARSA is doing great with social events and we're doing great in engaging with the community but if we don't have the financial stability, I don't think we can grow further. For me, that is going to be my biggest aim for 2018. Unfortunately I won't be here for the entire year - I will finish my studies earlier, but my aim which I've been working on - is to have a few financial sponsorship and partnerships that will better our financial situation. I just believe that SAF in itself isn't a very reliable source for us, because federal rules could change any day."

Emma Davies
Womens Officer

"I'm doing a PhD in Philosophy and I work on environmental ethics and feminist ethics at the intersection of those two things. I moved to Canberra from Brisbane to start my PhD here.

"One thing that I really want to focus on, moving forward in 2018, is working with the University around their response to the sexual assault and harassment on campus survey. I think there's a lot of productive work to be done in making the University a more gender equitable space. And I also hope to continue building supportive community around issues on gender equity as well for postgraduate women at ANU."


More on the PARSA 2018 election results can be found on the Association's website under general election results.